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>> Orivesi
>> Finland
>> Education in Finland




  1. Introduction
  2. Government and Public Administration
  3. Finnish People
  4. Finnish Way of life
  5. Four Seasons
  6. Test Your Knowlwdge - Quiz


Finland’s location between East and West has always been reflected in the country’s events and goings on. With this combination of western and eastern influences, Finnish culture has developed into something strong and highly individual.

Independent since 1917, Finland today is in many ways a pioneering EU member state. It is a safe and stable welfare state with a fully functioning infrastructure, education system, health care services and a vibrant cultural life.

Finland is a welfare state with the aim of securing for its 5.2 million inhabitants equal opportunities for a good life. A number of the services available are provided by the State and a number by the municipalities and these include, for example, health care, education, child day care, old people’s services and basic support for the unemployed. Citizens can enjoy these services from the cradle to the grave.



EU member state Finland is a stable parliamentary republic ruled by a multi-party system. Ultimate power lies with the people, represented by Parliament. Legislative power lies with Parliament and ultimate executive power lies with the President in conjunction with a government which has the support of Parliament.

The parliament has 200 seats to which representatives are chosen every four years by direct election. The president is chosen by direct election every six years and now there is a limit of two terms of office.


English is widely spoken in Finland though more often than not getting to know Finns requires you to take the initiative.

Even though it is not possible to talk in general terms of a national character, all in all it is fair to say that Finns perhaps give an extreme degree of space to other people which can mean that the initiative for making friends often falls to the foreigner. However, many have observed that once the ice is broken Finns are open, warm and can be relied on. Honesty and dependability are the two characteristics most highly regarded by Finns.



The Finnish way of life reflects the democratic principles of the nation. It is based on equality between all the people. Nature plays quite a role in the Finnish way of life as well sports, the arts and sauna.

The Finnish landscape is a blue-green mosaic of waterways and forests with room to move and wide open spaces. The country is among Europe’s largest when it comes to land area though one of its smallest when it comes to population. There are around 200,000 lakes and the largest archipelago in Europe is found in Finland’s waters.

Outdoor life and communing with nature are popular leisure pursuits. Finland also benefits from the so-called Everyman’s Rights which give freedom to move around the forests and countryside without express permission of the landowner. This also includes the right to pick berries, flowers and mushrooms as well as to light a fire.



Characteristic of Finland are the four clearly defined seasons. Summer is a time of light and in the height of summer the sun dips below the horizon for just a couple of hours. In the northernmost parts of Finland in Lapland the midnight sun can be experienced for around a couple of months during June–July when the sun remains above the horizon the whole time. This is celebrated towards the end of June with the Juhannus midsummer festivities when large bonfires are traditionally lit and love spells are cast. During the summer months a lot of Finns virtually move out to their summer cottages.

Autumn is the time of harvest and of berry picking and collecting mushrooms. The so-called “Ruska” when the leaves change colour dramatically into a sea of bright reds and golden yellows.

The darkest time of the year is around November when the leaves have fallen, and the rain has not yet turned to snow which will reflect the light.

Christmas is a great family festival with rich traditions. Father Christmas lives in Finnish Lapland and he makes personal visits to many families—or simply leaves presents under the christmas tree.

The spring period from February to April is really the time to be outdoors. The arrival of summer is marked carnival style with the traditional students’ and workers’ festival on May Day.

(Summary from the Finnish CIMO's booklet Living in Finland. Read more.)